Strike in Gaza
Strike in GazaIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Israeli fighter pilots bombed a terrorist smuggler tunnel in southern Gaza Wednesday afternoon in retaliation for rocket fire on southern Israel this week. A direct hit was confirmed, but no information was released on whether anyone was inside the tunnel at the time of the strike.

Over the past two days, two Grad missiles and a mortar shell exploded in the southern Israeli towns of Ofakim and Netivot. One landed very close to a hall where a wedding celebration was in progress. Another of the blasts occurred in the Eshkol Regional Council district. At least one rocket hit a parked car in Netivot. Four people were treated for shock.

Since the beginning of the 2011 calendar year, more than 30 long-range Grad Katyusha missiles, short-range Kassam rockets and mortar shells fired by Gaza terrorists have exploded in southern Israel.

"The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it," said the IDF Spokesperson in a statement. "The IDF will also continue to respond harshly to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel," the statement said.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations, Meron Reuven, sent a letter of complaint about the stepped-up rocket attacks to the international body via U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the U.N. Security Council.

In his letter, Reuven wrote that Israel expects the international body to condemn the attacks by the Gaza terrorists.